Saturday, 4 February 2012

To be or Knot to be

Lone curew
Just a quick trip out yesterday - we set out to get lunch in the tearoom at Sandhead and get a short walk on the beach. no Jays appeared as we left the house today - I was starting to think they were timing their visits just to mess with my head!
It was (very) low tide, leaving a massive expanse of sand for dogwalkers and wildlife alike, with a backdrop of the Galloway hills and their snow covered summits.
Knots with attendant gulls
As we left the tearoom it was eerily quiet - even the rookery behind the main street was silent -most unusual. The plaintive sound of a lone curlew rolled up from the beach and we could see the black and white splash of the ever present oystercatchers spread along the beach.
We walked north past feeding gulls and noticed a curlew feeding on the sand soaked by a small stream ahead of us.  It kept its distance, just ahead of us but still constantly probing for food.  The large variety and size of shells scattered across the beech testifying to the bounty to be found.
As I tried to capture a shot of the curlew George mentioned the dark rim along the waterline behind it and I realised there was a flock of waders.  George walked to the top of the beach leaving me to try and approach them quietly.  I was amazed at how placid they were.  Attendant gulls (who had been attempting the odd robbery) disappeared as I got closer but the waders which turned out to be knots were not fazed at all. They surged back and forth feeding in the very edge of the water, allowing me to get incredibly close. 
...and they're off!
I eventually overstepped the mark and off they went - all of 100 metres further along the beech. I left them to their feeding and headed home to check out how successful the pictures were ...
That was my last day in Scotland for a while - back home in MK today, just ahead of the wave of forecast snows across the country.


  1. Great sight to see all those Knot.
    Looks like you had a great break Marilyn.

  2. A great series of posts from your time in Scotland Marilyn. It looks like you had plenty of interesting birdlife to keep your shutter finger busy! That's a super image of the 'flashing' Robin!...[;o)